On Wednesday, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), also known as the world’s largest and most powerful particle smasher, resumed its activity at a nearly double the speed.
The machine was put on hold for nearly 27 months for a series of repairs and upgrades meant to take the world of physics by storm.
The new collision tests were run at mind-blowing energies of 13 tera-electronvolts (TeV) which is nearly twice as much as the collider’s initial power.
The LHC which cracks up protons at lightning speeds is the machine that brought first evidence on the existence of Higgs boson in 2013. The elusive particle, also dubbed the God particle, had been theorized since the 1960s, but only two years ago it was detected during a LHC routine particle collision session.
However, yesterday morning’s restart didn’t run very smoothly though the Large Hadron Colllider had been test run for more than two months before its grand reopening. CERN scientists reported that a software-related problem forced the machine to stop.
In May, CERN researchers tested for the first time the new energy outputs of the LHC during a collision test of protons, or the cores of atoms. And there was no problem at that time.
During the experiments, the 17-mile collider blasts two beams of protons into opposite directions at near light speeds. The 13 TeV energy output is expected to help physicists detect new types of sub-particles that would bring additional insights on the Universe’s formation and composition. When protons get smashed at such unimaginable speeds they seldom release new types of sub-atomic particles that delight scientists worldwide.
A much lower energy was enough to detect Higgs boson a couple of years ago. So the possibilities provided by the revamped machine are endless, scientists think. They hope that they would be able to better understand the principles of “new physics” and find evidence on dark matter and parallel universes.
Dark matter is also a concept that is currently only a hypothesis. Scientists speculate that it makes up 84 percent of the Universe’s matter and helps galaxies to stick together. Dark matter is invisible to our tools but its presence was signaled by gravitational anomalies around large space objects.
Scientists put all bets on Einstein’s mass-energy equivalence theory explained through its famous formula E=MC². According to the theory, energy can turn into mass and vice versa. So, more energy (about 13 TeV maximum output) could be converted into heavier mass such as extremely rare particles or even dark matter, researchers explained.
Image Source: Daily Mail
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